by Mike Telin
Musically speaking, this is a diverse week for The Cleveland Orchestra. Lovers of contemporary music can hear half of the orchestra’s players performing two concerts as part of the California Masterworks series at the Cleveland Museum of Art, but lovers of music from the baroque and classical periods can also have their listening appetites fulfilled.
On Friday, May 3 at 11:00 am, Saturday May 4 at 8:00 pm and Sunday, May 5 at 3:00 pm in Severance Hall, Ton Koopman will lead concerts featuring Mozart’s Symphonies No. 1 and 17, Haydn’s Symphony No. 45 (Farewell) and Rebel’s Overture to The Elements. (Mozart’s Symphony 17 and the Rebel Overture are on Saturday’s and Sunday’s programs only) All three concerts feature German composer Johann Carl Christian Fischer’s unique Symphony with Eight Obbligato Timpani.
We spoke to Cleveland Orchestra principal timpanist Paul Yancich (above, coaching Pedro Fernandez at the University of Miami) about that fascinating and challenging work, but began by asking him why he wanted to perform the piece.